Let’s parse the Parscale op-ed. Excerpts from it are in daring, with my evaluation beneath.
“Bush’s Ranking Falls To Its Lowest Level, New Survey Finds,” read a bold headline on the entrance web page of the New York Occasions on June 29, 2004. The Occasions described a fraught ambiance among the many voters, with rising angst over the Iraq Warfare and considerations over home safety lower than three years after the terrorist assaults of Sept. 11. The dire survey, in response to the Occasions, meant President George W. Bush was prone to be a one-term president. “Presidents with job approval scores beneath 50 % within the spring of election years have typically gone on to lose,” mentioned the Occasions. Bush’s approval score on the time was 42 %.
Sixteen years later, President Trump faces a barrage of comparable headlines predicting probably defeat — pointing to nationwide polling and an anxious inhabitants combating a world pandemic.
The op-ed actually begins on a curious observe. Is that New York Occasions headline actually “daring?” One might actually quibble with how the numbers have been interpreted within the story, however the headline was plainly correct. And it was actually not “predicting probably defeat.”
The second and extra necessary level is that the implied comparability between Trump at this time and Bush at this level in 2004 actually has its limits. Whereas the New York Times-CBS poll confirmed Bush with an identical approval score (42 %) to Trump at this time (41.5 % within the RealClearPolitics average), it additionally confirmed much less contempt for Bush. Trump’s common disapproval score proper now could be 56 %, in comparison with 51 % in that ballot for Bush. What’s extra, simply 45 % of individuals had an unfavorable view of Bush personally, in comparison with 56 percent for Trump today. Polls have additionally proven that about half of voters “strongly disapprove” of Trump’s job efficiency; round this time in 2004, about 4 in 10 voters had equally written Bush off.
And that mattered. Why? As a result of Bush had room for progress because the marketing campaign drew to a detailed. And he did develop; by Election Day 2004, more Americans approved of him than disapproved. Trump’s numbers, against this, have been static and have by no means ventured near such constructive territory. To borrow a frequent sports activities analogy, there’s merely much less upside in Trump’s marketing campaign.
Oh, and there’s one quantity from that 2004 ballot that Parscale curiously doesn’t point out: The precise poll take a look at between Bush and John Kerry. Regardless of Bush’s lowest approval score, he was truly neck-and-neck with Kerry, taking 44 % to Kerry’s 45 %. Trump, against this, is down by an average of nine to 10 points.
Right here’s one of many authors of the 2004 New York Occasions piece Parscale cites, the Occasions’s Adam Nagourney:
I wrote NYT survey story Brad Parscale cited in attention-grabbing oped piece. Simply went again and reread. Appears nuanced and never predictive. There’s a 1 level distinction between Bush and Kerry. Don’t assume anybody would stroll away pondering Bush was doomed. https://t.co/sRpqx2x27e
— adam nagourney (@adamnagourney) July 2, 2020
The president’s reelection conflict chest, together with a record-setting $131 million raised in June from hundreds of donors in any respect ranges, displays the continued help, enthusiasm and confidence so many Individuals have in President Trump and his agenda. The huge quantity raised in June eclipses the entire raised in any single month of 2016.
It’s true that Trump is elevating large cash and has been for a very long time. But when we’re going to make use of greenback figures as a measure of “help, enthusiasm and confidence,” it’s value noting that Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden, is definitely elevating extra proper now. Whereas Trump raised $131 million in June, Biden raised $141 million. Trump was additionally bested final month, pulling in $74 million to Biden’s $81 million.
The brand new numbers could also be a report for Trump personally, however they’re not even a report for this marketing campaign cycle.
And in the case of crucial issue, enthusiasm, President Trump is dominating. The unprecedented enthusiasm behind the president’s reelection efforts stands in stark distinction to the flat, nearly nonexistent enthusiasm for Biden.
Parscale asserts an enormous enthusiasm edge whereas for some motive declining to offer any numbers. If I have been his editor, I’d counsel he cite a current Washington Publish-ABC Information ballot that confirmed 69 % of Trump’s supporters have been “very enthusiastic” about their candidate, versus simply 34 % who have been that obsessed with Biden. The ballot additionally confirmed 87 % of Trump voters mentioned they’d undoubtedly vote, in comparison with 74 % for Biden. These are large variations!
- Biden’s “undoubtedly” vote quantity is decrease not less than partially as a result of his massive present margins embody successful over many swing voters, who could be extra informal about politics. In the event you apply the “undoubtedly” vote numbers to the place every candidate is at the moment polling in that survey (through which Biden led general 53-43), it interprets to 39 % of individuals supporting Biden and undoubtedly voting, in comparison with 37 % for Trump.
- Asking about enthusiasm in your candidate might not be the appropriate query in 2020, given Democrats’ enthusiasm appears to be principally derived not from voting for Biden, however from voting towards Trump. As The Publish’s Jose A. Del Actual writes at this time, a brand new New York Times-Siena College poll of Arizona and Florida reveals that whereas 80 % of Trump voters say their vote is extra of a vote for Trump than a vote towards Biden, 60 % of Biden voters mentioned their vote was principally towards the president. And as Trump’s approval numbers present, an enormous variety of Individuals are passionately towards him.
President Trump’s [uncontested primary vote totals] have dwarfed not simply Obama’s, however Bush’s as properly. In Wisconsin in 2020, the president obtained greater than 616,000 votes — in contrast with Obama’s 293,914 and Bush’s 158,933 votes obtained in 2004. In Georgia, the president hit nearly 1 million major votes this 12 months, in contrast with Obama’s 139,273 and Bush’s 161,374.
There could also be one thing to say for what number of voters have turned out to indicate their help for Trump in his largely uncontested major. However to place it bluntly, evaluating Trump to Obama and Bush in these two states is ridiculous.
In Georgia, the identical holds. Its June presidential major this 12 months coincided with all the state’s other primaries, together with a number of contested GOP primaries for Congress. Against this, each its 2012 and 2004 presidential primaries have been held in March, individually from all these different races. (There was a state flag referendum on the poll in March 2004, nevertheless it wasn’t in any respect aggressive.)
Evaluating turnout from elections with different aggressive races to elections with none to talk of is one thing any revered political strategist ought to know is foolhardy.
None of that is to say Trump can’t or received’t win in 2020. He nonetheless can. It’s simply that the explanations Parscale cites for that don’t precisely help what he alleges. And the truth that these are the sorts of issues Parscale is hanging his hat on suggests he doesn’t have an entire lot to work with — and/or that he’s making an attempt too exhausting to color an image that the boss will like.